Best Large Camping Tents To Elevate Your Outdoor Experience

High ceilings, multiple bedrooms, private entrances, and plenty of space to store your gear: Just a few of the things that are waiting for you inside the best large camping tent for your next outdoors excursion...
Best Large Tent - Intro
The North Face Wawona 6 from the inside: Our Best Choice Overall – Photo from manufacturer

Tent camping gets a bad reputation: Some people say tents are cramped, claustrophobic, and uncomfortable to sleep in. We’re going to wager they’ve never had the pleasure of spending the night in a proper large camping tent.

We define the best large camping tent as one that (a) fits six or more people and (b) includes all the space and features you need to get the most out of your camping experience. In our search to find the best large shelters on the market, we’ve tested and analyzed dozens of models and found The North Face Wawona 6 to be the best large camping tent money can buy.

It’s a fantastic shelter built with high-quality materials that packs a ton of extra features for a price you’ll have to see to believe. Of course the Wawona isn’t the best large camping tent for everyone, especially large groups.

That’s because large camping tents vary quite a bit in just how big they can be. In the article below, you’ll find tents ranging from 6 person domes all the way up to 16-person mansions. For a couple and their pup, a six-person tent is more than enough space to stand up, stretch out, and sleep well every night (preferably on a large air mattress). Try fitting a family of five in that same tent, however, and things get cramped quickly.

The article that follows is our list of the best large camping tents currently available. If you’re not sure how much space you need or where to begin choosing the best large camping tent for your next adventure, you’ll also find a handy buyer’s guide down at the bottom to help you decide which tent is the right fit for you.

Right, let’s dive in!

TentSummary
The North Face Wawona 6: Best Large Camping Tent OverallPound for pound this is the most feature-rich large tent on the market for the best price. If you don’t need the extra space of an 8-12 person model, this tent is lacking nothing. See Review
Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent: Best Overall QualityAbsolutely bulletproof construction uses heavy-duty waterproof canvas and all stainless steel hardware. This tent will last for years and years, albeit with a considerable weight penalty. See Review
Core 12 Person Instant Cabin: Best Large Camping Tent On A BudgetTons of space, solid weatherproofing, and simplified setup at a budget-friendly price. If you’re looking for a roomy cabin-style tent that won’t break the bank, this is a solid three-season option. See Review
Columbia Mammoth Creek 10 Person TentColumbia knows a thing or two about high-tech fabric, and it shows on this highly weather-resistant cabin. A roomy 10 person model with some unique features at a great price. See Review
Nemo Wagontop 8Nemo’s unique wagontop design provides tons of interior space and a simple three-pole setup. Lifetime guarantee comes at a premium price. See Review
Big Agnes Bunkhouse 6A spacious dome-style tent made from premium materials at a great price. Rainfly doubles as a standalone awning and packs into a sweet backpack-style carrying case. See Review
Marmot Lair 8pOur favorite four-season large camping tent. Room for up to 8 sleepers and built to survive a blizzard. Costs considerably less than most expedition tents. See Review
Eureka! Copper Canyon LX 12A well-rounded cabin with a proven design at a fair price. Privacy dividers, double doors, and tall ceilings make this highly livable for multiple adult campers. See Review
Ozark Trail Base Camp CabinAn absolutely massive tent at an incredibly low price. Features four separate bedrooms, each with its own door and privacy divider. See Review
Gazelle T4 PlusQuite possibly the easiest large camping tent to pitch of all time. Extremely durable fabrics throughout, plus a removable floor for easy cleanup. See Review

Best Large Camping Tents

The North Face Wawona 6: Best Large Camping Tent Overall

Specs:
Weight: 17 lbs (7.7kg)
Packed size: 27” x 8” x 8” (69cm x 20cm x 20cm)
Floor size: 118” x 106” (300cm x 269cm)
Peak height: 124” (315cm)
Rooms: 1
Shape: Dome
Occupancy: 6 (4 person also available)
Best for: Three season camping for couples/small families
Price: $$

Six person tents are what we consider to be the smallest of the “large” camping tents group, and there’s no better 6 person tent for the money than The North Face Wawona 6. You could certainly argue that the Wawona is the most underpriced tent on the market, especially considering all its perks. We’re arguing that it’s the best large camping tent on this list, and here’s why.

The first and most obvious is that every Wawona 6 includes a large gear garage-style entrance baked into an already low price, which has enough room to shield a few bicycles from the weather or to set up two camp chairs and relax in the shade.

The floor plan itself is very generous even for a six-person tent, with a full 102 square feet of space and six-and-a-half-foot ceilings. Materials are excellent as well, with a 150D polyester taffeta canopy, DAC MX aluminum poles, and a bulletproof rainfly.

We’ve noted before that setup is the only real downside of the Wawona 6, and as of this writing that’s still the case. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with the design, but because the rainfly/vestibule/garage combo is so large, getting it guyed out and staked down properly is especially important if you don’t want to watch your tent fly away like a kite. The garage can’t be separated from the rest of the fly, so you don’t have the option of leaving it behind to simplify things, but honestly we’d rather have it and take the time to set it up anyways, so it’s a minor complaint at best.

Pros:Cons:
– Best value in a 6 person tent
– Included gear garage in the price
– Excellent build quality throughout
– Garage required to setup vestibule
– Vestibule requires extra attention when pitching
– You might want more space for a larger group



Teton Sports Sierra Canvas Tent: Best Overall Quality

Specs:
Weight: 108.7 lbs (49.3 kg)
Packed size: 41” x 16” x 16” (104cm x 41cm x 41cm)
Floor size: 240” x 240” (610cm x 610cm)
Peak height: 134” (340cm)
Rooms: 1
Shape: Bell
Occupancy: 16 (12 and 10 person also available)
Best for: Family car camping
Price: $$$

We’re big fans of old-school canvas tents for their long-wearing durability, fantastic weatherproofing, and classic charm. Teton Sports’ Sierra Canvas Bell Tent is no exception and has to be one of the coolest large camping tents on the market.

Who doesn’t want to sleep in a tent that looks like a cross between a circus tent and something you’d see outside a battlefield in Middle Earth? And as if the looks themselves aren’t cool enough, the Sierra even features both walls and floors that are completely removable, so you can convert it from a tent to a stylish cabana in two minutes flat. Just unzip both and you’re left with just the roof standing for a breezy respite from the sun.

Speaking of the floors, the Teton Sports Sierra sports some of the thickest floors we’ve ever seen in a shelter, and are rugged enough to stand up to rough terrain, rocks, wearing boots in the tent, whatever. That same “overbuilt” quality carries over to the tent poles as well, which are made from heavy-duty stainless steel, as are the bulletproof tent stakes included with every Sierra.

There’s a price to be paid for all that quality and durability though, both financially and otherwise. From a literal cost standpoint, the Teton Sports Sierra is one of the most expensive tents on our list, coming it at more than double some of our more budget-conscious picks on the list. There’s also a considerable weight penalty with the Sierra, as the heavy cotton canvas and steel frame add up to over 100 pounds between their two separate carry bags. It’s certainly a unique camping experience, but well worth the work you’ll put into hauling it around.

Pros:Cons:
– Canvas is super durable and completely weatherproof
– Walls and floor are completely removable
– Bell tents get all the cool points around camp
– Expensive
– Heavy
– Single-room layout isn’t for everyone



Core 12 Person Instant Cabin: Best On A Budget

Specs:
Weight: 48 lbs (22kg)
Packed size: 49” x 16” x 11.5” (125cm x 41cm x 29cm)
Floor size: 216” x 120” (549cm x 305cm)
Peak height: 80” (203cm)
Rooms: 3
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 12
Best for: Group camping in fair weather
Price: $

Few tent layouts are as quick and convenient as the pre-attached pole/hub design of the Core 12 Person Instant Cabin. This is a large camping tent that’s got space for three or more mattresses but can be set up by one person in under five minutes.

The massive 18’ x 10’ floor plan is one of the largest on this list, and combined with a full 80-inches of ceiling space, the Core Instant cabin has plenty of room for about 6 campers to stretch out comfortably. We also love that the Core can be divided into three separate living spaces using the included privacy dividers, although we wish they would move one of the two doors to the side of the tent as they’re both connected to the center room as it sits.

Materials are good quality throughout, with a frame made from sturdy telescoping steel poles and both the canopy and rainfly made from fully seam-sealed PU-coated polyester. Granted we’d like to see a thicker fabric than the 68D weight materials used here, but that’s still much thicker than several tents we’ve used over the years, so it’s not a deal-breaker.

All things considered, the Core Instant Cabin packs a ton of space and a few nice convenience features into a price point that’s tough to beat.

Pros:Cons:
– Instant-cabin design for lightning-fast setup
– Huge floor plan with three separate rooms
– Great price
– Tent fabrics are thinner than most
– Both doors attached to center room



Columbia Mammoth Creek 10 Person Tent

Specs:
Weight: 39lbs (18kg)
Packed size: 40” x 12” x 12” (367cm x 102cm x 102cm)
Floor size: 168” x 120” (427cm x 305cm)
Peak height: 78” (198cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 10 (8 and 6 person sizes also available)
Best for: Three season group camping
Price: $$

Columbia is best known for their extensive line of technical outdoors apparel ranging from hiking pants to ski jackets, but every so often they lend their high-tech fabrics and outdoor know-how to a few select tents, and we’re sure glad they do.

Our favorite by far is the Mammoth Creek 10, which is a classic cabin-style large camping tent with a ton of space, fantastic weatherproofing, and some unique touches that really make it stand out.

In terms of the floor plan, the Mammoth Creek packs a full 140 square feet of space, which can be split down the middle into two 10’x7’ rooms using the included privacy divider (plenty of space for two queen air mattresses). The ceilings are plenty tall to stand up inside the tent, and both the double front door and D-shaped side door are large enough to haul gear in and out of.

In terms of weatherproofing, Columbia didn’t cut any corners here: For starters, the tent fabric is treated with Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Shield technology for increased water repellency, all seams are fully taped, and the tent floors have a dependable bathtub-style design to keep groundwater at bay. The icing on the cake for us is the dual pop-out windows fitted to the Mammoth, which allow campers to keep their windows wide open when it’s raining for extra ventilation and (more importantly) gives them something to stare out of longingly while they wait for the sun to come back out.

Downsides here are few, but we’ll point out that fiberglass poles are what keep the cost of the Mammoth Creek down, although they are nice and thick, so strong winds shouldn’t be a major concern.

Pros:Cons:
– Quality fabrics throughout
– Excellent weatherproofing
– Pop-out windows are a fun, unique touch
– Fiberglass poles throughout
– Setup takes longer than similar “instant” tents



Nemo Wagontop 8

Specs:
Weight: 30 lbs (13.6 kg)
Packed size: 28” x 13” x 13” (71cm x 33cm x 33cm)
Floor size: 180” x 100” (457cm x 254cm)
Peak height: 80” (203cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 8 (6 and 4 person also available)
Best for: Three seasons camping with friends and family
Price: $$$

If you’ve never had the pleasure of sleeping in a Nemo camping tent before, you’re in for a treat.

Nemo are known for their premium outdoors gear, which is made from some of the best materials available, packed full of innovative technology, and backed by Nemo’s famous lifetime warranty. The Nemo Wagontop checks all those boxes and then some.

The most glaring feature of the Wagontop is its unique “covered-wagon” design, which uses just three long, looping poles to create a shelter that is both incredibly spacious and incredibly tall. Moving outside of the tent you’ll surely notice the giant front vestibule of the Wagontop, which stretches another four feet beyond the main entrance for dry entry/exit in bad weather and makes for a roomy spot to store extra gear or enjoy some shade.

What’s even better is that when the weather is good, the vestibule can be rolled back to the rear of the tent, revealing a nice roomy screen porch underneath that’s a perfect hang-out spot for a few chairs and a cooler full of your favorite libations.

And yes, as you might suspect, all this technology, quality, and convenience come at a premium price. Still, the Nemo is far from the most expensive tent on our list, and if you want extra space but only need to sleep 4-5 people max, this is definitely an investment worth making.

Pros:Cons:
– Tons of interior space
– Smart three-pole “wagontop” design makes for easy setup
– Gotta love that Nemo lifetime warranty
– Expensive  



Big Agnes Bunkhouse 6P Tent

Specs:
Weight: 18.4 lbs (8.3kg)
Packed size: 27.5” x 17” x 10” (70cm x 43cm x 25cm)
Floor size: 118” x 100” (300cm x 254cm)
Peak height: 81” (203cm)
Rooms: 1
Shape: Dome
Occupancy: 6 (4 person also available)
Best for: Three season camping for families and smaller groups
Price: $$

If you’re looking for a roomy tent but don’t need one of the 10+ person mansions above, take a look at the Big Agnes Bunk House 6. We love the Bunk House because it’s spacious, incredibly well built, and packs a ton of convenience features into its design without being overly complicated.

As far as space goes, consider the Bunk House 6’s footprint: Inside the body of the tent you’ve got room to sleep six as well as stand-up height ceilings. Outside your front door, you’ll find room for another camper or two to sit and hang out thanks to the pole-supported vestibule and extendable sun awning.

On the tech/materials side, the Bunk House features a durable polyurethane coated polyester fly and floor, a coated polyester canopy, and sturdy DAC aluminum poles that are lightweight but built to go the distance.

Convenience features are where this tent really shines though. For instance the pole-supported rainfly/vestibule can be converted into a stand-alone shelter that’s perfect for some extra shade anywhere from the backcountry to the beach to your backyard. Other highlights include the large “welcome mat” attached below the front door to keep muddy boots and wet packs outside the tent (and off the ground), as well as the Big Agnes Bunk House’s unique backpack-style carrying bag that frees up your hands for carrying other camp essentials to and from the car.

Drawbacks to this tent are pretty minimal. You can certainly get larger tents (with multiple rooms) for less money, but few (if any) will share the outright quality of materials found in Big Agnes products. It’s also worth mentioning that the freestanding/collapsible pole design takes a little longer to set up and properly stake out than some of the other large camping tents on our list, but we’ve found the peace of mind of such a solid setup is worth the extra work.

Pros:Cons:
– Big Agnes quality materials throughout
– Standalone “shelter mode” is a nice feature
– Large awning/vestibule combo for dry entry/exit
– Backpack carry bag!
– One room only
– Not the fastest setup



Marmot Lair 8P

Specs:
Weight: 24 lbs (10.9kg)
Packed size: 30” x 24” x 24” (76cm x 61cm x 61cm)
Floor size: 169 sq ft (15.7 sq m)
Peak height: 96” (244cm)
Rooms: 1
Shape: Dome/Hex
Occupancy: 8
Best for: Four-season camping for small groups
Price: $$$

If you’re after a large camping tent that’s ready to take on the nastiest weather on the planet, check out the Marmot Lair 8.

This is an exceptionally well-built basecamp/expedition tent with plenty of space and tons of features that costs about half as much as your average alpine tent from folks like Mountain Hardware and The North Face.

The Lair packs some unique features that we’re really into including a fully removable floor (perfect for snow-camping dugouts), tons of internal and external gear storage thanks to the extended vestibules and numerous interior stash pockets, and surprisingly good ventilation thanks to the unique double windows Marmot worked into the tent canopy.

As far as cons go, anytime you’re shopping for serious four-season tents, cost will be a factor. Yes, the Lair is a great deal compared to other expedition tents, but three-season campers will likely get more value and enjoyment out of other options on the list. It’s also worth noting that setup is much more involved on four-season tents like these due to the extra poles and guy-out points. Again, this is a common feature for any tent built for use in snow, but compared with fair-weather shelters, they’re a lot more work to pitch properly. If you want to see it live, feel free to check the 360 interactive tour vid from Marmot.

Pros:Cons:
– Less expensive than most hardcore four-season base camping tents
– Built for serious winter camping, but vents well enough for year-round use
– Built to handle any weather
– Base camping tents are not cheap
– Single room floorplan



Eureka! Copper Canyon LX 12 Person Tent

Specs:
Weight: 40 lbs (18kg)
Packed size: 29” x 11” x 11” (74cm x 28cm x 28cm)
Floor size: 168” x 144” (427cm x 366cm)
Peak height: 84” (213 cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 12 (8 person also available)
Best for: Car camping for groups and families
Price: $$

Speaking of expedition tents, here’s one of our favorite large tents from a brand that’s known for their mountaineering expertise: The Eureka! Copper Canyon LX. Yes, Eureka! does car camping too, and their Copper Canyon LX is their top-of-the-line large tent.

We love the Copper Canyon LX because it checks all the major boxes we look for in a large family-friendly tent, while also sticking to well-proven construction and materials that will last for many years.

In terms of space, the Copper Canyon is a large cabin-style layout with an optional room divider to split the shelter into two separate spaces. Each room gets its own door for entry/exit, which adds a ton of livability to larger tents like these. Cabin-style construction also means you’re getting nearly vertical walls and tall (seven-foot!) ceilings throughout the interior, so there’s plenty of room to stretch out for 4-6 people in the 12 person model.

Setup isn’t quite as fast as an “instant” cabin, but it’s still quick and convenient with pre-attached hubs (you’ve still gotta put the poles together), and color-coded poles. Ultimately we prefer this design to the pre-attached/hinged pole setups of true instant cabin tents, as the hubs themselves are common failure points that are somewhere between difficult and impossible to repair when they break.

We’ve got two complaints with the Copper Canyon we’ll share here: First, the poles are a mixture of metal and fiberglass (the roof uses fiberglass poles), and we would prefer to see aluminum poles throughout the frame at this price. Our second complaint is with the rainfly: While it does a great job of keeping water out, there’s no extended vestibule, awning, or other “bonus feature” built into the Eureka Copper Canyon’s fly. That limits your gear storage options to either inside the tent or inside your vehicle, and we’d prefer to have somewhere to stash the wet stuff outside the door.

Pros:Cons:
– Roomy cabin-style design with vertical walls and tall ceilings
– Two-room/two door layout
– Durable materials and solid waterproofing
– Poles are steel/fiberglass rather than aluminum
– Simple rainfly offers no exterior gear storage options



Ozark Trail Base Camp Cabin

Specs:
Weight: 48 lbs (21.8 kg)
Packed size: 29” x 17” x 12” (74cm x 43cm x 30cm)
Floor size: 240” x 240” (610cm x 610cm)
Peak height: 78” (198cm)
Rooms: 4
Shape: Fortress
Occupancy: 14
Best for: Three season camping for large groups/families
Price: $

There are large camping tents, and then there’s the Ozark Trail Base Camp Cabin. This thing is cavernous: Take a wrong turn inside this behemoth and you might wind up in another time zone. Just look at it: It’s basically a four-bedroom apartment with a separate living room.

The Ozark Trail Base Camp Cabin features four separate rooms, each with its own private entrance and a sewn-in privacy divider. With near-vertical walls and ceilings well over six feet high, we’ll wager this could be the largest camping tent you’ll ever step foot in.

Setup isn’t “instant,” but it is fairly easy with two people. One person could do it in a pinch but we don’t see many campers using this cabin alone so that shouldn’t be an issue. Other notable features include separate organizer pockets and cupholders for each bedroom, large double windows in each room for ventilation, and a double-wide door at the main entrance of the tent that makes loading and unloading pain-free.

With that being said, this is an Ozark Trail tent, so the overall quality of materials isn’t on point with something like the Big Agnes or Nemo above. For instance, the fabric in the floor and canopy of this cabin are both on the thinner side, so you’ll want to be extra thorough when clearing out and sticks and rocks, and you’ll want to bring a few tarps along as well to serve as a footprint. We’ll give Ozark Trail props for sticking with steel poles for each of the uprights in the Base Camp Cabin frame, but the fiberglass poles used throughout the ceiling are definitely on the thin side, so you’ll want to take extra care guying out this shelter if any rains are expected.

Pros:Cons:
– Ludicrous amount of interior space
– Four separate bedrooms, each with their own door
– Somehow the largest tent on our list is also the least expensive
– May be too large for smaller campsites
– Fabric is on the thinner side
– Roof poles are smaller diameter fiberglass



Gazelle T4 Plus Extra Large Pop Up Tent

Specs:
Weight: 58 lbs (26.3kg)
Packed size: 67” x 13” x 13” (170cm x 33cm x 33cm)
Floor size: 168” x 94” (427cm x 239cm)
Peak height: 78” (198cm)
Rooms: 2
Shape: Cabin
Occupancy: 8
Best for: Family camping in fair weather
Price: $$

If you’re looking for a large camping tent that couldn’t be any easier to pitch, the Gazelle T4 Plus Extra Large is the ticket.

That’s because where other “instant tents” typically use pre-attached poles on collapsible hinges, Gazelle has pioneered a four-way “hub” into each wall and roof section that need only be “popped out” to form a free-standing structure. Just unpack the tent, pop out each of its seven hubs, and you’re ready to kick back and relax.

And while both floor space and peak height on the Gazelle are plenty generous, the main feature of this large camping tent is its incredibly rugged materials. We’re talking about a 210D polyester canopy and rain fly and a full 300D polyester floor that can stand up to just about any abuse you can dream up.

Overall these tents are fantastic quality and built to go the distance, but the unique pop-out hubs that make them so convenient also come with an unfortunate Achilles heel: They’re just not cut out for seriously bad weather. That’s because each hub is held in place by spring tension, and although it takes a good bit of pressure to collapse them, stronger gusts of wind have been known to unhinge the Gazelle’s roof panels. Not something you want to deal with in the middle of a storm… Still, if you typically camp in decent weather (light winds and rain are no biggie), this is a tent that’s built to last for years of enjoyment.

Pros:Cons:
– Quick setup thanks to pup-out hub design
– Second room doubles as a screen room
– Extremely durable fabrics throughout
– Hub design limits poor weather performance
– Expensive



Buyers Guide: Large Camping Tents

All of the shelters that made our list for the best large camping tents share a handful of particular traits that make them worth owning. Some perform better than others, some cost less than others, but they’re all spacious, reliable in the rain, and packed full of features that make them extra livable in the wilderness.

Best Large Tent - Buying-guide
The Teton Sports Sierra: Our Highest Quality Choice – Photo from manufacturer

Whether you’re not sure which tent is your best choice from the list above, or are considering another large camping tent that we didn’t include, here are the criteria we use to determine whether or not a tent is worth buying. A tent should be chosen wisely, as it is certainly the most important items of your camping checklist!

Floor Size

Because large camping tents range so widely in overall size, the amount of floor you need largely depends on both (a) the number of people who will be sleeping in your tent, (b) what they’ll be sleeping on, and ( c) how much extra space you want to move around and/or hang out in during the day.

Best Large Tent - Floor size
The Core 12 from the inside: A lot of space and height – Photo from manufacturer

Keep in mind the size of any tent is described in the number of people who can fit inside (we’re talking packed in head to toe), not the number of people who can fit inside comfortably. To determine your ideal floor size, measure your planned sleeping layout for each room (one queen mattress, two twin mattresses, two sleeping pads, etc.), and make sure you’ve got enough room left over for any gear, chairs, or tables you want inside the tent as well. Generally speaking, tents up to four-person models are ideal for two campers, and larger tents comfortably sleep about ⅔ the number of sleepers advertised.

Center Height

Center height is important for large camping tents because it determines whether or not we can stand up without hunching over once inside the tent.

We recommend looking for tents with center heights well above 6 feet, even if your tallest camper is only 6’1”. That’s because “center height” only measures the height in the highest part of the tent. Most tents taper down to some degree toward the walls and doors, so you want some extra headroom to allow for that.

Weight And Packed Size

The North Face Wawona 6 packed – Photo from manufacturer

Because tents this size are intended for car camping only (meaning you won’t be carrying them several miles into the backcountry), weight and packed size aren’t particularly important. As long as you’ve got enough room at home to store it, and enough room in your vehicle to transport it, the weight and packed size of your tent aren’t a major factor here.

With that being said, we’ll point out that some tents are much larger and heavier than others. If you’re considering a large canvas tent, for instance, be prepared to haul around a shelter that’s well over 70 pounds, or make sure you invite your burliest friend along for the trip to give you a hand.

Shape

Cabin-shaped tents are by far the most popular in this category, and for good reason. Their high ceilings and near-vertical walls provide much more interior space than your typical dome or wedge shape, which is important when you’re sharing the space with multiple other campers.

Best Large Tent - Shape
The Nemo Wagontop: An ideal shape for tough conditions – Photo from manufacturer

Really the only drawback of cabin-shaped tents is that their tall, flat walls have a tendency to trap wind more than an aerodynamic dome-shaped tent, which limits their performance in serious storms.

Dome-shaped tents can still offer plenty of interior space themselves though, so if you’re planning on camping in very windy areas, we recommend considering a more rounded shape with plenty of guy-out points.

Seasonality/Weather Protection

In terms of seasonality, most tents fall under either the “three-season” or “four-season” banner.

The vast majority of campers will want a three-season tent, as these shelters are designed to handle everything but serious snows and below-freezing temperatures. That includes sunny days, rainy days, windy days, whatever.

If you are considering a large camping tent for use in seriously cold temperatures or deep snow, you’ll need a four-season tent. Three-season tents are made to focus on delivering the maximum amount of ventilation in the hot summer months, so they’re typically not safe to use in these conditions without some serious winter gear and/or a tent heater of some kind.

Number Of Rooms

The number of rooms you’ll want in your tent depends on how many people are planning to sleep inside it.

If you’re just camping with one other person (and maybe a dog or two), consider either a large one-room or a two-room tent. Either of these options will give you plenty of space to stash a queen-sized mattress, while also providing enough room at the front of the tent for you to hang out, get dressed, or pass the time while it’s raining out.

Best Large Tent - Number of rooms
The Core 12 and its massive rooms – Photo from manufacturer

As you go up in the number of sleepers from there, how many rooms you need depends on how much room each sleeper needs for an enjoyable night. This is also where convenience features like privacy dividers come into play, especially when camping with several adults who will appreciate a little extra privacy for sleeping, changing clothes, etc.

Durability

Durability generally comes down to two factors: Tent fabrics and tent poles.

Durable fabrics are important for large camping tents because they tend to see more foot traffic than smaller tents, and often have to stand up to the rigors of children and pets as well. Look for tents with highly durable fabrics, which are measured in a unit called deniers or “D” for short. A tent with a 200D polyester canopy will outperform one with a 150D polyester construction and so on.

In terms of poles, the best tent poles out there are typically made from light and durable aluminum, and come from recognizable name brands like DAC or Easton.

Steel poles are also highly durable, but typically weigh much more than comparable aluminum designs. Steel poles are common in large camping tents because they can afford to be bulkier and heavier, and have the added bonus of helping to keep the overall cost of a tent down as well.

Fiberglass poles are typically the least expensive and least durable of the bunch, but they aren’t necessarily a deal-breaker, either. Many high-quality tents from Columbia, Kelty, and others will use thicker, heavy-duty fiberglass poles to keep both cost and weight down without sacrificing too much in terms of strength. Be extremely wary of smaller diameter fiberglass poles, especially in high-stress areas of a tent’s frame.

Ease Of Set-up

Typically when we set up a large camping tent, we’ve got at least one extra pair of hands with us to help. That’s not always the case though, so we recommend looking for a tent that can be set up with one person if need be.

Best Large Tent - Shape
The Gazelle T4 Plus: Pop-up system = Quick set-up! – Photo from manufacturer

Aside from that, if the quickest and easiest setup possible is a high priority for you, you may want to consider an “instant tent” option. Instant tents typically use a system of pre-attached poles and hubs which only require you to unfold your tent, then raise its walls using telescoping poles.

Instant designs tend to be more failure-prone than traditional pole-and-sleeve or pole-and-hub designs (they have more moving parts), but it’s a risk many campers are willing to take for the added convenience.

Conclusion

With these characteristics in mind, we found The North Face Wawona was the best large camping tent overall. Its top-shelf materials, large interior space, and extended vestibule/gear garage all make for a fantastic camping experience for groups of 2-3 that want to stretch out and enjoy their stay in the backcountry.

Best Large Tent - Conclusion
The North Face Wawona 6 – Photo from manufacturer

Of course if you’re camping with a larger group or want a tent you can split into multiple rooms, we highly recommend an 8-person or larger model like the Nemo Wagontop 8 or the Core Instant Cabin if you’re shopping on a budget.

And, if you’re looking for a truly unique “big tent” experience, there’s just nothing quite like a large canvas bell tent like the Teton Sports Sierra. Its old-school craftsmanship and bomb-proof construction are some of the highest quality you’ll ever see, and well worth the asking price.

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